Kay Burley confirms time off Sky News after breaking Covid-19 rules

Kay Burley has said she will not front Sky News in the coming weeks due to a pre-planned holiday to Africa, after admitting breaking Covid-19 safety rules.

The TV host, 59, is facing an internal inquiry for what she described as "an error of judgment".

She was not on air on Tuesday, and the show was instead presented by Sarah Hewson.

Following speculation over whether she would return to work before 2021, Burley shared a message on Twitter saying she had always planned to take time off to visit "my beloved Africa".

Sharing a video from a safari trip, she wrote: "Lovely people, whatever else you read be safe in the knowledge I was always heading to my beloved Africa on Friday to sit with lions. They kill for food not sport."

Burley previously said she was celebrating her 60th birthday at a "Covid-compliant" restaurant on Saturday and afterwards "popped into another" venue to use the bathroom.

The gathering was reportedly in London, which is under Tier 2 restrictions.

According to The Sun, the presenter is 'unlikely' to return on air until 2021.

A source told the paper: "The Sky News bosses were absolutely furious at Kay.

"She should know better and they told her as such. They've told her she's off-air for the foreseeable. It looks like it will be 2021 before she's back."

Writing on Twitter, Burley said: "I want to apologise to you all for an error of judgment. On Saturday night I was enjoying my 60th birthday at a Covid compliant restaurant.

"I am embarrassed to say that later in the evening I inadvertently broke the rules.

"I had been waiting for a taxi at 11pm to get home. Desperate for the loo I briefly popped into another restaurant to spend a penny. I can only apologise."

Burley, who presents a daily breakfast show on Sky News, has grilled politicians on lockdown throughout the pandemic.

In May, she questioned cabinet minister Michael Gove on the controversy over Dominic Cummings' trip to Barnard Castle.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Kay Burley attends Turn The Tables 2019 hosted by Tania Bryer and James Landale in aid of Cancer Research UK at BAFTA on March 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 15: Kay Burley attends Cirque du Soleil's "LUZIA" at Royal Albert Hall on January 15, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 23: Sky News presenter Kay Burley at the Edinburgh TV Festival, on August 23, 2019 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ken Jack/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Kay Burley outside Parliament on August 28, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to Cabinet colleagues telling them that his government has requested the Queen suspend parliament for longer than the usual conference season. Parliament will return for a new session with a Queen's Speech on 14 October 2019. Some Remain supporting MPs believe this move to be a ploy to hinder legislation preventing a No Deal Brexit. (Photo by JORAS/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: (L to R) Anthea Turner, Kay Burley and Harriet Scott attend Turn The Tables 2019 hosted by Tania Bryer and James Landale in aid of Cancer Research UK at BAFTA on March 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Kay Burley attends the Cirque du Soleil Premiere Of "TOTEM" at Royal Albert Hall on January 16, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 28: Kay Burley attends the Gala Night after party for "All Or Nothing: The Mod Musical" at Foundation Bar on March 28, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Kay Burley attends the TRIC Awards 2018 held at The Grosvenor House Hotel on March 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 28: Kay Burley attends the Gala Night performance of "All Or Nothing: The Mod Musical" at The Ambassadors Theatre on March 28, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Kay Burley attends the 'Sky Women In Film and TV Awards' held at London Hilton on December 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Kay Burley attends the 'Sky Women In Film and TV Awards' held at London Hilton on December 1, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11: Kay Burley, representing Brainwave makes a trade at the BGC Charity Day on September 11, 2017 in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BGC Partners )
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Justice Secretary Michael Gove (centre) attends a SKY News interview with Faisal Islam and Kay Burley followed by an audience Q&A session hosted by Kay Burley where he will lay out reasons to leave in the European Union on SKY News on June 3, 2016 in London, England. Campaigning continues by both the 'Brexit' and 'Remain' groups ahead of the EU referendum on June 23rd. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02: Prime Minister David Cameron (C) poses for a photograph with Faisal Islam (R) and Kay Burley after attending a Sky News interview and Q and A session where he laid out reasons to remain in the European Union, on June 2, 2016 in London, England. Campaigning continues by both the Brexit and Remain groups ahead of the EU referendum on June 23rd. (Photo by Chris Lobina/Sky News - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 22: Kay Burley attends the BAFTA Nominees Party at The Corinthia Hotel on April 22, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: In this handout provided by Sky News, Kay Burley of Sky News poses with Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband ahead of the filming of 'Cameron & Miliband ; The Battle For Number 10' on March 26, 2015 in London, England. The TV show will air tonight at 9pm on Sky News. (Photo by Chris Lobina/Sky News via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Kay Burley (L) and Jonathan Shalit attend a private view of "And The Stars Shine Down" by Stasha Palos at the Saatchi Gallery on December 2, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Kay Burley sighted outside the Plaza Hotel on July 3, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Harlem Mepham/FilmMagic)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 08: Kay Burley attends the annual WIE Symposium at The Hospital Club on March 8, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images for WIE Symposium)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Jon Bon Jovi has tea with Kay Burley ahead of announcing a new album and world tour in 2013 at Dover Street Arts Club on October 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: Kay Burley attends the launch of the Sky Atlantic channel at the Sky pop-up venue on February 4, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: Kay Burley attends the VIP screening of 'The Take' at The Curzon Mayfair on May 13, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Emma Peios/WireImage)
Kay Burley Attends The British Academy Television Awards At The Royal Festival Hall In London. (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)
UXBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 20: Kay Burley leaves Uxbridge Magistrates Court after model Naomi Campbell was sentenced on 20 June, 2008 in Uxbridge, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
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A Sky News spokesman said: "We place the highest importance on complying with the Government guidelines on Covid, and we expect all our people to comply.

"We were disappointed to learn that a small number of Sky News staff may have engaged in activity that breached the guidelines.

"Although this took place at a social event in personal time, we expect all our people to follow the rules that are in place for everyone.

"An internal process is under way to review the conduct of the people involved."

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